Medvedev to face Dutch qualifier in US Open quarters; giant-killer Fernandez stuns Kerber - GulfToday

Medvedev to face Dutch qualifier in US Open quarters; giant-killer Fernandez stuns Kerber


Aryna Sabalenka returns a shot to Elise Mertens during their fourth round US Open match on Sunday. Associated Press

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev marched into the US Open quarter-finals on Sunday, where a shock Dutch qualifier player will try to deny him a third straight trip to the New York semi-finals.

Medvedev defeated British 24th seed Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, making his fourth trip to the last eight in the past five Grand Slams as he chases his first Slam title.

Medvedev, who lost this year’s Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic and the 2019 US Open final to Rafael Nadal, has not dropped a set in four matches.

Medvedev next faces 117th-ranked Botic Van de Zandschulp, who outlasted Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 in four hours and 20 minutes.

He also matched the best showing by any US Open qualifier, last-eight runs by Frenchman Nicolas Escude in 1999 and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in 2008.

“First time for me in America and it feels great,” said Van de Zandschulp, who wondered how his homeland was reacting to his run.

“No one expected me to reach the quarter-finals,” he said. “I think they are amazed and hopefully proud.”

An Evans double fault handed Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead and the Russian held three times to take the first set.

After trading second-set breaks to 3-3, the Russian broke at love in the seventh game and held out from there.

In the third set, Medvedev broke on a forehand winner in the third game and took the final eight points, holding and breaking at love for the match.

There are only nine seeds among the men’s last 16 -- the fewest to get this far at a Slam since nine at Wimbledon in 2013, and at a US Open since eight in 2005.

Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez followed her shock upset of 2020 US Open winner Naomi Osaka by defeating German 16th seed and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

Seven of the top nine women’s seeds reached the last 16, with Osaka and top-ranked Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty exiting early.

Fernandez, who turns 19 on Monday, advanced to a first Slam quarter-final against Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed from Ukraine.

Svitolina, who turns 27 next Sunday, beat two-time major winner Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 to reach her eighth Grand Slam quarter-final. Svitolina, coming off a WTA title in Chicago, stretched her win streak to nine matches.

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who made a Slam-best run to July’s Wimbledon semi-finals, eliminated Belgian 15th seed Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-1.

Sabalenka will next face Czech eighth seed Barbora Krejcikova, the reigning French Open champion who held on to beat two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Krejcikova led a set and two service breaks before Muguruza rallied.

But the Spaniard could not convert three set points in the 10th game of the second set and Krejcikova then came back strong after a medical timeout off the court to treat what she told the umpire was trouble with her diaphragm.

Muguruza, apparently annoyed by the time Krejcikova took between points during the remainder of the match, offered a chilly handshake at the net and departed before Krejcikova, breathing hard, made her way from the court escorted by a trainer and doctor.

Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who upset Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, reached his first Slam quarter-final by downing 141st-ranked German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.

Alcaraz, ranked 55th, is the youngest US Open men’s quarter-finalist since Brazilian Thomaz Koch in 1963.

The Spaniard will face Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, with one of the two assured of playing his first Grand Slam semi-final.


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